“Shore there ain’t no more, Buck?” Hopalong called.
“Yes. There was only five, I reckon, an’ they was purty well shot up when we took a hand. You know, Johnny was in it all the time,” replied the foreman, smiling. “This town’s had the cleaning up it’s needed for some time,” he added.
They were at Jackson’s store now, and hurriedly dismounted and ran in to see Johnny. They found him lying across some boxes, which brought him almost to the level of a window sill. He was too weak to stand, while near him in similar condition lay Barr, too weak from loss of blood to do more than look his welcome.
“How are you, Kid?” cried Buck anxiously, bending over him, while others looked to Barr’s injuries.
“Tired, Buck, awful tired; an’ all shot up,” Johnny slowly replied. “When I saw you fellers—streak past this windy—I sort of went flat—something seemed to break inside me,” he said, faintly and with an effort, and the foreman ordered him not to talk. Deft fingers, schooled by practice in rough and ready surgery, were busy over him and in half an hour he lay on Jackson’s cot, covered with bandages.
“Why, hullo, Lacey!” exclaimed Hopalong, leaping forward to shake hands with the man Red and Billy had gone to help. “Purty well scratched up, but lively yet, hey?”
“I’m able to hobble over here an’ shake han’s with these scrappers—they’re shore wonders,” Lacey replied. “Fought like a whole regiment! Hullo, Johnny!” and his hand-clasp told much.
“Yore cross fire did it, Lacey; that was the whole thing,” Johnny smiled. “Yo’re all right!”
Red turned and looked out of the window toward the Oasis and then glanced at Buck. “Reckon we better burn Harlan’s place—it’s all that’s left of that gang now,” he suggested.
“Why, yes; I reckon so,” replied the foreman. “That’s as—”
“No, we won’t!” Hopalong interposed quickly. “That stands till Johnny sets it off. It’s the Kid’s celebration—he was shot in it.”
After the flurry at Perry’s Bend the Bar-20 settled down to the calm routine work and sent several drive herds to their destination without any unusual incidents. Buck thought that the last herd had been driven when, late in the summer, he received an order that he made haste to fill. The outfit was told to get busy and soon rounded up the necessary number of three-year-olds. Then came the road branding, the final step except inspection, and this was done not far from the ranch house, where the facilities were best for speedy work.