“That is, if it ain’t too much,” Hardy craftily added.
“How much?” Uncle Henry asked.
“Oh, two hundred dollars,” Jasper Hardy grandly said.
“Two hundred dol—Git out o’ my way!” Uncle Henry wheeled straight through him.
“Say, where are you goin’?” Hardy cried.
“To Mexico!” Uncle Henry said. “This country’s gettin’ so it ain’t fit to live in!” And he whirled out of the room.
Hardy turned to his daughter. “Nothing to keep us here any longer. Come on, Angy.”
“Come, ‘Red,’” said the girl, as she started to follow her father. What else was there to do?
Even though it was Angela who called to him, “Red’s” allegiance was for the moment elsewhere.
“I gotter stick by him,” he said, looking at Gilbert.
“No,” said Gilbert. “This is something I’ve got to settle alone. But I thank you, ’Red’—I thank you with all my heart. You’re a brick—a red brick.” He smiled and patted him on the back.
“Red” was suspicious still. He looked at Gilbert. “You don’t think he’ll try any funny business, do you? You’re sure you won’t need me around?”
“How can he try any funny business?” Gilbert asked.
“I know,” said “Red.” Gilbert looked at him closely. “I get yuh,” the foreman continued. “But I don’t like it just the same.” He switched over to the malignant Pell. “There’s one little detail I’d like to call your attention to,” he said.
“Well?” Pell said.
“I’m a tough little feller myself, sometimes. And if anything should happen that shouldn’t, I’ll be waitin’ for you in town with a one-way ticket. And it won’t be to New York. Savez?” Then he turned to his adored and adoring Angela. “Come, Angy!”
And he grasped her arm, and took her out.
WHEREIN AN OLD SITUATION SEEMS ABOUT TO BE REPEATED, ANOTHER SHOT IS FIRED, AND THE BAD MAN COMES BACK
Deeper and deeper grew the darkness. Outside, indeed, the first stars had begun to shine, and soon the heavens were a miraculous glory. But there was no moon. Every road was hushed, and the trees waved their long arms in the gloom. The little machine that took Angela and her father home, rolled down the quiet valley. Its chug-chug was the only sound for miles around. “Red” was happy in the cool night. He rode all the way out to the Hardy ranch. He and Angela sang an old song, and let Jasper Hardy sit at the wheel and whirl them to the lights of home.
Meantime, back in Gilbert’s adobe, the Mexican cook came from his stuffy kitchen and fetched a lamp for the sitting-room. He lighted two candles by the fireplace, closed the shutters and door, and went back to his pots and pans. He said nothing, noticed nothing. It had been a day of intense excitement for him, and he was glad to crawl back, like some tiny worm, into the cave where he ruled supreme.