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The Boy Ranchers or Solving the Mystery at Diamond X   By:

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THE

BOY RANCHERS

OR

Solving the Mystery at Diamond X

By

WILLARD F. BAKER

Author of "The Boy Ranchers in Camp," "The Boy Ranchers on the Trail," etc.

ILLUSTRATED

NEW YORK

CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY

THE BOY RANCHERS SERIES

By WILLARD F. BAKER

12mo. Cloth. Frontispiece

THE BOY RANCHERS or Solving the Mystery at Diamond X

THE BOY RANCHERS IN CAMP or The Water Fight at Diamond X

THE BOY RANCHERS ON THE TRAIL or The Diamond X After Cattle Rustlers

Other Volumes in Preparation

CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, New York

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY

COPPLES & LEON COMPANY

THE BOY RANCHERS

Printed in U. S. A.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I "SOME RIDIN'!" II A CALL FOB HELP III A MYSTERIOUS SEARCH IV SUSPICIONS V HITTING THE TRAIL VI THE RUSTLERS VII A CRY IN THE NIGHT VIII "THE PROFESSOR'" IX "WHAT DOES IT MEAN?" X DEL PINZO XI BAD BUSINESS XII RIDING HERD XIII THE ATTEMPT FOILED XIV THE STAMPEDE XV LOST XVI THE VISION XVII THE NIGHT CAMP XVIII QUEER OPERATIONS XIX PRISONERS XX THE DIAMOND X BRAND XXI THE ESCAPE XXII BACK TO THE RANCH XXIII CLOSING IN XXIV THE FIGHT XXV THE TRICERATOPS

THE BOY RANCHERS

CHAPTER I

"SOME RIDIN'!"

Two riders slumped comfortably in their saddles as the ponies slowly ambled along. The sun was hot, and the dust stifling, a cloud of it forming a floating screen about the horsemen and progressing with them down the trail.

One of the riders, a tall, lanky and weather beaten cowboy, taking a long breath, raised his voice in what he doubtless intended to be a song.

It was, however, more a cry of anguish as he bellowed forth:

"Leave me alone with a rope an' a saddle, Fold my spurs under my haid! Give me a can of them sweet, yaller peaches, 'Cause why? My true love is daid!"

"Bad as all that; is it, Slim?" asked the other, who, now that he had partly emerged from the cloud of dust, could be seen as a lad of about sixteen. He, like the other, older rider, was attired cowboy fashion.

"Eh? What's that, Bud?" inquired the lanky one, seeming to arouse as if from a day dream. "See suthin'?"

"Nope. I was just sort of remarking about that sad song, and "

"Oh, shucks! That wa'n't sad!" declared Slim Degnan, foreman of the Diamond X ranch. "Guess I wa'n't really payin' much attention to what I was singin', but if you want a real sad lament "

"No, I don't!" laughed Bud Merkel, whose father was the owner of Diamond X ranch. "Not that I blame you for feeling sort of down and out," he added.

"Oh, I don't feel bad , Bud!" came the hasty rejoinder. "We did have more'n a ride than I figgered on, but I don't aim to put up no kick. It's all in the day's work. You don't seem to mind it."

"I should say not! We had a bully time. I'd spend another night out in the open if we had to. I like it!"

"Yes, you seem to take to it like a duck does to water," added Slim. "But it's a shame to mention ducks in the same chapter with this atmosphere! Zow hippy! But it's hot an' dusty an' thirsty! Come along there, you old hunk of jerked beef!" he added to his pony, giving a gentle reminder with the spurs and pulling on the reins. The pony made a feeble attempt to increase its gait, but it was no more than an attempt.

The animal that was ridden by Bud a pinto started to follow the example of the other.

"Regular mud turtle gallop," commented the foreman.

"They'll go faster when they top the rise, and see the corral," commented Bud.

"An' smell water! That's what I want, a long, sizzling, sozzling drink of water!" cried Slim, whose name fitted him better than did his clothes. Then he broke forth again with:

"Oh, leave me alone with a rope an' a saddle "

Slowly the riders plodded along... Continue reading book >>




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