Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Long Chance   By: (1880-1957)

Book cover

First Page:

THE LONG CHANCE

[Illustration: IT WAS THE DESERT CALL FOR HELP; THREE FIRES IN A ROW BY NIGHT. THREE COLUMNS OF SMOKE AGAINST THE HORIZON BY DAY.]

THE LONG CHANCE

BY

PETER B. KYNE

ILLUSTRATED BY FRANK TENNY JOHNSON

1914

PRINTED AT GARDEN CITY, N. Y., U. S. A.

THE LONG CHANCE

CHAPTER I

It was sunrise on the Colorado desert.

As the advance guard of dawn emerged from behind the serrated peaks to the east and paused on their snow encrusted summits before charging down the slopes into the open desert to rout the lingering shadows of the night, a coyote came out of his den in the tumbled malpais at the foot of the range, pointed his nose skyward and voiced his matutinal salute to the Hosts of Light.

Presently, far in the distant waste, seven dark objects detached themselves from the shadows and crawled toward the mountains. Like motes swimming in a beam of light, they came out of the Land of Nowhere, in the dim shimmering vistas over west, where the gray line of grease wood met the blue of the horizon. Slowly they assumed definite shape; and the coyote ceased his orisons to speculate upon the ultimate possibility of breakfast and this motley trio of "desert rats" with their burro train, who dared invade his desolate waterless kingdom.

For, with the exception of the four burros, the three men who followed in their wake did, indeed, offer the rare spectacle of variety in this land of superlative monotony. One of the men wore a peaked Mexican straw hat, a dirty white cotton undershirt, faded blue denim overalls and a pair of shoes much too large for him; this latter item indicating a desire to get the most for his money, after the invariable custom of a primitive people. He carried a peeled catclaw gad in his right hand, and with this gad he continually urged to a shuffling half trot some one of the four burros. This man was a Cahuilla Indian.

His two companions were white men. The younger of the pair was a man under thirty years of age, with kind bright eyes and the drawn but ruddy face of one whose strength seems to have been acquired more from athletic sports than by hard work. He was tall, broad shouldered, slim waisted, big hipped and handsome; he stepped along through the clinging sand with the lithe careless grace of a mountain lion. An old greasy wide brimmed gray felt hat, pinched to a "Montana peak," was shoved back on his curly black head; his shirt, of light gray wool, had the sleeves rolled to the elbow, revealing powerful forearms tanned to the complexion of those of the Indian. He seemed to revel in the airy freedom of a pair of dirty old white canvas trousers, and despite the presence of a long barreled blue gun swinging at his hip he would have impressed an observer as the embodiment of kindly good nature and careless indifference to convention, provided his own personal comfort was assured.

The other white man was plainly an alien in the desert. He was slight, blonde, pale a city man with hard blue eyes set so close together that one understood instantly something of the nature of the man as well as the urgent necessity for his thick lensed, gold rimmed spectacles. He wore a new Panama hat, corded riding breeches and leggings. He was clean shaven and sinfully neat. He wore no side arms and appeared as much out of harmony with his surroundings as might a South American patriot at a Peace Conference.

"I say," he began presently, "how much further is it to this prospect hole of yours, if, indeed, you have a prospect as you represented to me a week ago?" His tone was fretful, peevish, complaining. One would readily have diagnosed the seat of his trouble. He had come prepared to ride and he had been forced to walk.

The young man frowned. He seemed on the point of swearing, but appearing to think better of it, he replied banteringly, " Por ahi. Por ahi. "

"What in blazes does that mean?"

"Oh, I was just talking the language of the country a language, by the way, toward which you seem most indifferently inclined... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books