“What will the Indian do with the horses?” queried Bartley.
“Most like trade ’em to his friends.”
Bartley gestured toward a spot of green far across the valley. “Looks like a town,” he said.
“San Andreas—and that’s where we stop, to-night. No campin’ in the brush for me while Sneed is ridin’ the country lookin’ for his stock. It wouldn’t be healthy.”
SAN ANDREAS TOWN
A sleepy town, that paid little attention to the arrival or departure of strangers, San Andreas in the valley merely rubbed its eyes and dozed again as Cheyenne and Bartley rode in, put up their horses at the livery, and strolled over to the adobe hotel where they engaged rooms for the night.
Bartley was taken by the picturesque simplicity of the place, and next morning he suggested that they stay a few days and enjoy the advantage of having some one other than themselves cook their meals and make their beds. The hotel, a relic of old times, with its patio and long portal, its rooms whose lower floors were on the ground level, its unpretentious spaciousness, appealed strongly to Bartley as something unusual in the way of a hostelry. It seemed restful, romantic, inviting. It was a place where a man might write, dream, loaf, and smoke. Then, incidentally, it was not far from the Lawrence ranch, which was not far from the home of a certain young woman whom Little Jim called “Dorry.”
Bartley thought that Dorothy was rather nice—in fact, singularly interesting. He had not imagined that a Western girl could be so thoroughly domestic, natural, charming, and at the same time manage a horse so well. He had visioned Western girls as hard-voiced horse-women, masculine, bold, and rather scornful of a man who did not wear chaps and ride broncos. True, Dorothy was not like the girls in the East. She seemed less sophisticated—less inclined to talk small talk just for its own sake; yet, concluded Bartley, she was utterly feminine and quite worth while.
Cheyenne smiled as Bartley suggested that they stay in San Andreas a few days; and Cheyenne nodded in the direction from which they had come.
“I kinda like this part of the country, myself,” he said, “but I hate to spend all my money in one place.”
Bartley suddenly realized that his companion, was nothing more than a riding hobo, a vagrant, without definite means of support, and disinclined to stay in any one place long.
“I’ll take care of the expenses,” said Bartley.
Cheyenne smiled, but shook his head. “It ain’t that, right now. Me, I got to shoot that there game of craps with Panhandle, and I figure he won’t ride this way.”
“But you have recovered your horses,” argued Bartley.
Cheyenne gestured toward the south. “I reckon I’ll keep movin’, pardner. And that game of craps is as good a excuse as I want.”