But Dave Law had recognized Adolfo Urbina in the crowd, and, stepping forward, disarmed him, saying:
“Adolfo, there’s a warrant for you, so I’ll just take you in.”
For a moment Adolfo was inclined to resist, but, thinking better of it, he yielded with bad grace, bitterly regretting the curiosity which had prompted him to remain to the end of this interesting affair.
Tad Lewis gave him some comfort. “Never mind, Adolfo,” he said. “They can’t prove anything on you, and I’ll go your bail. Ed Austin knows where you was the day that stock was stole.” He and his two remaining men moved toward their automobile, and a moment later the vehicle went clattering away up the thicket road.
So ended the attempt to foil the return of Ricardo Guzman’s body to Texas soil.
When Alaire came to look for her husband he was gone.
SUPERSTITIONS AND CERTAINTIES
The sensation caused by Ricardo Guzman’s disappearance was as nothing to that which followed the recovery of his body. By the next afternoon it was known from Mexico to the Canadian border that the old ranchman had been shot by Mexican soldiers in Romero. It was reported that a party of Americans had invaded foreign soil and snatched Ricardo’s remains from under the nose of General Longorio. But there all reliable information ceased. Just how the rescue had been effected, by whom it had been done, what reasons had prompted it, were a mystery. With the first story the newspapers printed a terse telegram, signed by Captain Evans and addressed to the Governor of Texas, which read:
“Ranger force crossed Rio Grande and brought back the body of Ricardo Guzman.”
This message created tremendous enthusiasm, for the Texas Rangers have ever stood for prompt and decisive action; but two hours after the publication of this despatch there came a sharp inquiry from Washington, and on the heels of that the State House at Austin denied the receipt of any such message.
When this denial was in turn made public, the newspapers demanded to know who had performed this sensational exploit. One rumor had it that the sons of Ricardo Guzman had risked their lives to insure their father Christian burial. This was amplified by a touching pen-picture of the rancher’s weeping family waiting at the bank of the Rio Grande, and an affecting account of the grief of the beautiful Guzman girls. It mattered not that there were no daughters.
In other quarters the expedition was credited to members of a secret order to which Ricardo had belonged; from a third source came a statement that the Guzman family had hired a band of Mexicans to exhume the body, so that proof of death might be sufficient to satisfy an insurance company in which the rancher had held a policy. Even at Jonesville there were conflicting rumors.