An early supper, and the three men forgathered outside the cabin and smoked and talked until long after dark. Cheyenne had told Scott of the happenings since leaving Antelope, and jokingly he referred to San Andreas and Bartley’s original plan of staying there awhile.
Bartley nodded. “And now that the smoke has blown away, I think I’ll go back and finish my visit,” he said.
Cheyenne’s face expressed surprise and disappointment. “Honest?” he queried.
“Why not?” asked Bartley, and it was a hard question to answer.
After all, Bartley had stuck to him when trouble seemed inevitable, reasoned Cheyenne.
Now the Easterner felt free to do as he pleased. And why shouldn’t he? There had been no definite or even tentative agreement as to when they would dissolve partnership. And Bartley’s evident determination to carry out his original plan struck Cheyenne as indicative of considerable spirit. It was plain that Sneed’s unexpected presence in San Andreas had not affected Bartley very much. With a tinge of malice, born of disappointment, Cheyenne suggested to Bartley that the man he had knocked out, back of the livery barn, would no doubt be glad to see him again.
Bartley turned to Joe Scott. “He’s trying to ‘Out-West’ me a bit, isn’t he?”
Scott laughed heartily. “Cheyenne is getting tired of rambling up and down the country alone. He wants a pardner. Seems he likes your company, from what he says. But you can’t take him serious. He’ll be singin’ that everlastin’ trail song of his next.”
“He hasn’t sung much, recently.”
Cheyenne bridled and snorted like a colt. “Huh! Just try this on your piano.” And seemingly improvising, he waved his arm toward the burro corral.
One time I had a right good
Git along, cayuse, git along;
But he quit me cold for a little ranch gal,
Git along, cayuse, git along.
And now he’s took to
On a rancho down San Andreas way;
He’s done tied up and he’s got to stay;
Git along, cayuse, git along.
“I was just learnin’ him the ropes, and he quit me cold,” complained Cheyenne, appealing to Scott.
“He aims to keep out of trouble,” suggested Scott.
“I ain’t got no friends,” said Cheyenne, grinning.
“Thanks for that,” said Scott.
Cheyenne reached in his pocket and drew out the dice. His eyes brightened. He rattled the dice and shot them across the hardpacked ground near the doorstep. Then he struck a match to see what he had thrown. “I’m hittin’ the road five minutes after six, to-morrow mornin’,” he declared, as he picked up the dice.
DORRY COMES TO TOWN
At six, next morning, Bartley and Scott were on their way to San Andreas, Bartley riding Dobe and Scott hazing two pack-burros. They took a hill trail, which, Scott explained, was shorter by miles than the valley road which Cheyenne and Bartley had taken to the gulch. Cheyenne was forced to stay at the miner’s cabin until Scott returned with the pack-saddle and outfit left in the livery. Scott was after supplies and tobacco.