The Untamed eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 209 pages of information about The Untamed.
he has the fightin’ instinct of the ancestors of man.  So far I’ve kept him away from other men.  Which I may say is the main reason I bought Dan Morgan’s place so’s to keep fightin’ men away from our Whistlin’ Dan.  So I’ve been hidin’ him from himself.  You see, he’s my boy if he belongs to anybody.  Maybe when time goes on he’ll get tame.  But I reckon not.  It’s like takin’ a panther cub—­or a wolf pup—­an tryin’ to raise it for a pet.  Some day it gets the taste of blood, maybe its own blood, an’ then it goes mad and becomes a killer.  An’ that’s what I fear, Kate.  So far I’ve kept Dan from ever havin’ a single fight, but I reckon the day’ll come when someone’ll cross him, and then there’ll be a tornado turned loose that’ll jest about wreck these parts.”

Her anger had grown during this speech.  Now she rose.

“I won’t believe you, Dad,” she said.  “I’d sooner trust our Dan than any man alive.  I don’t think you’re right in a single word!”

“I was sure loco,” sighed Cumberland, “to ever dream of convincin’ a woman.  Let it drop, Kate.  We’re about to get rid of Morgan’s place, an’ now I reckon there won’t be any temptation near Dan.  We’ll see what time’ll do for him.  Let the thing drop there.  Now I’m goin’ over to the Bar XO outfit an’ I won’t be back till late tonight.  There’s only one thing more.  I told Morgan there wasn’t to be any gun-play in his place today.  If you hear any shootin’ go down there an’ remind Morgan to take the guns off’n the men.”

Kate nodded, but her stare travelled far away, and the thing she saw was the yellow light burning in the eyes of Whistling Dan.

CHAPTER III

SILENT SHOOTS

It was a great day and also a sad one for Morgan.  His general store and saloon had been bought out by old Joe Cumberland, who declared a determination to clear up the landscape, and thereby plunged the cowpunchers in gloom.  They partially forgave Cumberland, but only because he was an old man.  A younger reformer would have met armed resistance.  Morgan’s place was miles away from the next oasis in the desert and the closing meant dusty, thirsty leagues of added journey to every man in the neighbourhood.  The word “neighbourhood,” of course, covered a territory fifty miles square.

If the day was very sad for this important reason, it was also very glad, for rustling Morgan advertised the day of closing far and wide, and his most casual patrons dropped all business to attend the big doings.  A long line of buckboards and cattle ponies surrounded the place.  Newcomers gallopped in every few moments.  Most of them did not stop to tether their mounts, but simply dropped the reins over the heads of the horses and then went with rattling spurs and slouching steps into the saloon.  Every man was greeted by a shout, for one or two of those within usually knew him, and when they raised a cry the others joined in for the sake of good fellowship.  As a rule he responded by ordering everyone up to the bar.

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The Untamed from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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