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Jim Waring of Sonora-Town Tang of Life   By: (1874-1945)

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August 1918


Robert Frothingham

[Illustration: Waring of Sonora Town]

Waring of Sonora Town

The heat acrost the desert was a swimmin' in the sun, When Waring of Sonora Town, Jim Waring of Sonora Town, From Salvador come ridin' down, a rollin' of his gun.

He was singin' low and easy to his pony's steady feet, But his eye was live and driftin' Round the scenery and siftin' All the crawlin' shadows shiftin' in the tremblin' gray mesquite.

Eyes was watchin' from a hollow where a outlaw Chola lay; Two black, snaky eyes a yearnin' For Jim's hoss to make the turnin', Then to send a bullet burnin' through his back the Chola way.

And Jim Waring's gaze, a rovin' round the desert as he rode, Settled quick without him seemin' To get wise and quit his dreamin' On a shiny ring a gleamin' where no ring had ever growed.

The lightnin' don't give warnin'; just a lick and she is through; Waring set his gun to smokin' Playful like, like he was jokin', And a Chola lay a chokin' ... and a buzzard cut the blue.


I. The Cañon

II. José Vaca

III. Donovan's Hand

IV. The Silver Crucifix

V. The Tang of Life

VI. Arizona

VII. The Return of Waring

VIII. Lorry

IX. High Chin Bob

X. East and West

XI. Spring Lamb

XII. Bud Shoop and Bondsman

XIII. The Horse Trade

XIV. Bondsman's Decision

XV. John and Demijohn

XVI. Play

XVII. Down the Wind

XVIII. A Piece of Paper

XIX. The Fight in the Open

XX. City Folks

XXI. A Slim Whip of a Girl

XXII. A Tune for Uncle Bud

XXIII. Like One Who Sleeps

XXIV. The Genial Bud

XXV. The Little Fires

XXVI. Idle Noon


XXVIII. A Squared Account

XXIX. Bud's Conscience

XXX. In the Hills

XXXI. In the Pines

XXXII. Politics

XXXIII. The Fires of Home

XXXIV. Young Life

XXXV. The High Trail


Waring of Sonora Town

A huddled shape near a boulder

"I came over to tell you that it was Pat's gun"

They made coffee and ate the sandwiches she had prepared

From drawings by E. Boyd Smith


Chapter I

The Cañon

Waring picketed his horse in a dim angle of the Agua Fria Cañon, spread his saddle blanket to dry in the afternoon sun, and, climbing to a narrow ledge, surveyed the cañon from end to end with a pair of high power glasses. He knew the men he sought would ride south. He was reasonably certain that they would not ride through the cañon in daylight. The natural trail through the Agua Fria was along the western wall; a trail that he had avoided, working his toilsome way down the eastern side through a labyrinth of brush and rock that had concealed him from view. A few hundred yards below his hasty camp a sandy arroyo crossed the cañon's mouth.

He had planned to intercept the men where the trail crossed this arroyo, or, should the trail show pony tracks, to follow them into the desert beyond, where, sooner or later, he would overtake them. They had a start of twelve hours, but Waring reasoned that they would not do much riding in daylight. The trail at the northern end of the cañon had shown no fresh tracks that morning. His problem was simple. The answer would be definite. He returned to the shelter of the brush, dropped the glasses into a saddle pocket, and stretched himself wearily.

A few yards below him, on a brush dotted level, his horse, Dexter, slowly circled his picket and nibbled at the scant bunch grass. The western sun trailed long shadows across the cañon; shadows that drifted imperceptibly farther and farther, spreading, commingling, softening the broken outlines of ledge and brush until the walled solitude was brimmed with dusk, save where a red shaft cleft the fast fading twilight, burning like a great spotlight on a picketed horse and a man asleep, his head pillowed on a saddle... Continue reading book >>

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