“The idee is, the kid thinks he’s right,” said Shoop presently. “Speakin’ personal, I never monkey with a man when he thinks he’s right—and he is.”
“All I got to go by is the law,” asserted the deputy. “As for Adams here sayin’ I won’t run him in, I got orders to do it, and them orders goes.”
“Adams has applied for a position in the Service,” said Torrance.
“I ain’t got anything against Lorry personal,” said the deputy.
“Then just you ride back an’ tell Buck Hardy that Bud Shoop says he’ll stand responsible for Adams keepin’ the peace in Jason County, same as I stood responsible for Buck oncet down in the Panhandle. Buck will remember, all right.”
“Can’t you give me a letter to Buck, explainin’ things?” queried the deputy.
Bud glanced at Torrance. “I think we can,” said the supervisor.
Lorry stepped to the door with the deputy. There was no personal feeling evident as they shook hands.
“You could tell ma to send down my clothes by stage,” said Lorry.
Shoop and Torrance seemed to be enjoying themselves.
“I put in my say,” said Bud, “’cause I kind of like the kid. And I reckon I saved that deputy a awful wallopin’. When a fella like young Adams talks pleasant and chokes his hat to death at the same time you can watch out for somethin’ to fall.”
“Do you think Adams would have had it out with him?”
“He’d ‘a’ rode along a spell, like he said. Mebby just this side of the county line he’d ‘a’ told the deputy which way was north. And if the deputy didn’t take the hint, I reckon Adams would ‘a’ lit into him. I knowed Adams’s daddy afore he married Annie Adams and went to live in Sonora.”
“Then you knew that his father was Jim Waring?”
“I sure did. And I reckon I kep’ somebody from gettin’ a awful wallopin’. I was a kid oncet myself.”
The installation of Bud Shoop as supervisor of the White Mountain District was celebrated with an old-fashioned barbecue by the cattlemen and sheepmen leasing on the reserve. While John Torrance had always dealt fairly with them, the natives felt that he was more or less of a theorist in the matter of grazing-leases. Shoop was a practical cowman; one of themselves. Naturally there was some dissatisfaction expressed by disgruntled individuals who envied Shoop’s good fortune. But this was overwhelmed by the tide of popular acclaim with which Shoop was hailed as a just administrator of their grazing-rights.
The barbecue was a boisterous success. Although the day of large holdings was past, the event lacked nothing in numbers or enthusiasm. The man who owned a hundred head of cattle was quite as popular as his neighbor who owned perhaps eight hundred or a thousand. Outfits fraternized, ran pony races, roped for prizes, and rode bucking horses, as their predecessors had raced, roped, and “rode ’em” in the days of old.