“’Is this a sheep outfit I see before me, or is it the remnants of the former cow camp on the Bar T?’ He was right sarcastic. ‘Doc,’ says he, ‘explain this here to me.’ But the Doc, he couldn’t. Says the boss to him at last, ‘The right time to do the explainin’ is before the hoss race is over, and not after,’ says he. ’That’s the only kind of science that goes hereafter on the Bar T,’ says he.
“I reckon the boss was feelin’ a little riled, because he had two hundred on Pinto hisself. A cross-eyed horse shore can make a sight of trouble,” Curly sighed in conclusion; “yet I bought Pinto for four dollars, and—sometimes, anyway—he’s the best horse in my string down at Carrizosy, ain’t he, Mac?”
In the thoughtful silence following this tale, Tom Osby knocked his pipe reflectively against a cedar log. “That’s the way with the railroad,” he said. “It’s goin’ to come in herewith one eye on the gold mines and the other on the town—and there won’t be no blind-bridle up in front of old Mr. Ingine, neither. If we got as much sense as the Bar T feller, we’ll do our explainin’ before, and not after the hoss race is over. Before I leave for Vegas, I want to see one of you ostypothetic lawyers about that there railroad outfit.”
THE PARTITION OF HEARTS DESIRE
Concerning Real Estate, Love, Friendship, and Other Good and Valuable Considerations
“You see, it’s just this-a-way,” began Tom Osby, the morning after Curly’s osteopathic horse saga; “I’ve got to go on up to Vegas after a load of stuff, and I’ll be gone a couple of weeks. Now, you know, from what we heard down at Sky Top about this railroad, a heap of things can happen in two weeks. Them fellers ain’t showin’ their hands any, but for all we know their ingineers may come in any day, and start in to doin’ things.”
“They’ve got to make arrangements first,” replied Dan Anderson.
“That’s all right; and so ought we to make arrangements. We seen this place first. Now, Dan—” and he extended a gnarled and hairy hand—“you’ve always done like you said you would. You took care of me down there to Sky Top. I want you to keep on a-takin’ care of me, whether I’m here or not. Now, there’s my house and yard, right at the head of the canon, where they’ve got to come if they get in. That little old place, and my little old team, is about all I’ve got in the world. If old Mr. Railroad comes up this arroyo, what happens to me? You tell ’em to go somewheres else, because I seen this place first, and I like it. Ain’t that the law in this country? Ain’t it always been the law?”
Dan Anderson nodded. He held out his hand to Tom Osby and looked him straight in the eye. “I’ll take care of you, Tom,” he promised.
“Then that’ll be about all,” said Tom; “giddup, boys!”