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Gunsight Pass How Oil Came to the Cattle Country and Brought a New West   By: (1871-1954)

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GUNSIGHT PASS

HOW OIL CAME TO THE CATTLE COUNTRY AND BROUGHT A NEW WEST

BY WILLIAM MACLEOD RAINE

AUTHOR OF THE BIG TOWN ROUND UP, A MAN FOUR SQUARE, THE YUKON TRAIL, ETC.

1921

TO JAMES H. LANGLEY

WHO LIVED MANY OF THESE PAGES IN THE DAYS OF HIS HOT BLOODED YOUTH

CONTENTS

I. "CROOKED AS A DOG'S HIND LAIG"

II. THE RACE

III. DAVE RIDES ON HIS SPURS

IV. THE PAINT HOSS DISAPPEARS

V. SUPPER AT DELMONICO'S INTERRUPTED

VI. BY WAY OF A WINDOW

VII. BOB HART TAKES A HAND

VIII. THE D BAR LAZY R BOYS MEET AN ANGEL

IX. GUNSIGHT PASS

X. THE CATTLE TRAIN

XI. THE NIGHT CLERK GETS BUSY PRONTO

XII. THE LAW PUZZLES DAVE

XIII. FOR MURDER

XIV. TEN YEARS

XV. IN DENVER

XVI. DAVE MEETS TWO FRIENDS AND A FOE

XVII. OIL

XVIII. DOBLE PAYS A VISIT

XIX. AN INVOLUNTARY BATH

XX. THE LITTLE MOTHER FREES HER MIND

XXI. THE HOLD UP

XXII. NUMBER THREE COMES IN

XXIII. THE GUSHER

XXIV. SHORTY

XXV. MILLER TALKS

XXVI. DAVE ACCEPTS AN INVITATION

XXVII. AT THE JACKPOT

XXVIII. DAVE MEETS A FINANCIER

XXIX. THREE IN CONSULTATION

XXX. ON THE FLYER

XXXI. TWO ON THE HILLTOPS

XXXII. DAVE BECOMES AN OFFICE MAN

XXXIII. ON THE DODGE

XXXIV. A PLEASANT EVENING

XXXV. FIRE IN THE CHAPARRAL

XXXVI. FIGHTING FIRE

XXXVII. SHORTY ASK A QUESTION

XXXVIII. DUG DOBLE RIDES INTO THE HILLS

XXXIX. THE TUNNEL

XL. A MESSAGE

XLI. HANK BRINGS BAD NEWS

XLII. SHORTY IS AWAKENED

XLIII. JUAN OTERO IS CONSCRIPTED

XLIV. THE BULLDOG BARKS

XLV. JOYCE MAKES PIES

GUNSIGHT PASS

CHAPTER I

"CROOKED AS A DOG'S HIND LAIG"

It was a land of splintered peaks, of deep, dry gorges, of barren mesas burnt by the suns of a million torrid summers. The normal condition of it was warfare. Life here had to protect itself with a tough, callous rind, to attack with a swift, deadly sting. Only the fit survived.

But moonlight had magically touched the hot, wrinkled earth with a fairy godmother's wand. It was bathed in a weird, mysterious beauty. Into the crotches of the hills lakes of wondrous color had been poured at sunset. The crests had flamed with crowns of glory, the caƱons become deep pools of blue and purple shadow. Blurred by kindly darkness, the gaunt ridges had softened to pastels of violet and bony mountains to splendid sentinels keeping watch over a gulf of starlit space.

Around the camp fire the drivers of the trail herd squatted on their heels or lay sprawled at indolent ease. The glow of the leaping flames from the twisted mesquite lit their lean faces, tanned to bronzed health by the beat of an untempered sun and the sweep of parched winds. Most of them were still young, scarcely out of their boyhood; a few had reached maturity. But all were products of the desert. The high heeled boots, the leather chaps, the kerchiefs knotted round the neck, were worn at its insistence. Upon every line of their features, every shade of their thought, it had stamped its brand indelibly.

The talk was frank and elemental. It had the crisp crackle that goes with free, unfettered youth. In a parlor some of it would have been offensive, but under the stars of the open desert it was as natural as the life itself. They spoke of the spring rains, of the Crawford Steelman feud, of how they meant to turn Malapi upside down in their frolic when they reached town. They "rode" each other with jokes that were familiar old friends. Their horse play was rough but good natured.

Out of the soft shadows of the summer night a boy moved from the remuda toward the camp fire. He was a lean, sandy haired young fellow, his figure still lank and unfilled. In another year his shoulders would be broader, his frame would take on twenty pounds. As he sat down on the wagon tongue at the edge of the firelit circle the stringiness of his appearance became more noticeable... Continue reading book >>




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