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The Mesa Trail   By: (1887-1949)

Book cover

First Page:

THE MESA TRAIL BY H. BEDFORD JONES

GARDEN CITY NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 1920

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY STREET & SMITH CORPORATION

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN CHAPTER II THADY SHEA ENCOUNTERS PURPOSE CHAPTER III CORAVEL TIO ENJOYS A BUSY MORNING CHAPTER IV MRS. CRUMP HEADS SOUTHWEST CHAPTER V THE AMBITION OF MACKINTAVERS CHAPTER VI THADY SHEA SMELLS WHISKEY CHAPTER VII THADY SHEA HAS A VISITOR CHAPTER VIII DORALES GOES TO TOWN CHAPTER IX THE WICKER DEMIJOHN CHAPTER X MRS. CRUMP SAYS SOMETHING CHAPTER XI THADY SHEA DISCOVERS A PURPOSE CHAPTER XII THE STONE GODS VANISH CHAPTER XIII THADY SHEA STARTS HOME CHAPTER XIV DORALES KILLS CHAPTER XV MACKINTAVERS MAKES FRIENDS CHAPTER XVI DORALES POSTS NOTICES CHAPTER XVII DORALES RUNS AWAY

CHAPTER I THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN

A ribbon of winding road leads northeast from the pueblo of Domingo and the snaky Bajada hill where gray rocks lie thickly; it is a yellowish ribbon of road, sweeping over the gigantic mesa toward Santa Fé and the sweetly glowing Blood of Christ peaks great peaks of green spearing into the sky, white crested, and tipped with blood at sunset.

Along this ribbon of dusty yellow road was crawling a flivver. It was crawling slowly, in a jerky series of advances and pauses; as it crept along its intermittent course, the woman who sat behind the wheel was cursing her iron steed in a thorough and heartfelt manner.

Both in flivver and woman was that which fired curious interest. The rear of the car was piled high with boxes and luggage; certain of the boxes were marked "Explosives Handle With Care!" Prominent among this freight was a burlap sack tied about the neck and firmly roped to one of the top supports of the car.

The woman was garbed in ragged but neat khaki. From beneath the edges of an old fashioned bonnet, tied beneath the chin, protruded wisps of grayish hair, like an aureole of silver. The woman herself was of strikingly large frame and great in girth; her arms, bare to the elbows, were huge in size. Yet this giantess was not unhealthily fat. Hardened by toil, her hands were gripped carefully upon the steering wheel as though she were in some fear of wrenching it asunder in an unguarded moment.

Her features were large, sun darkened, creased and seamed with crow's feet that betokened long exposure to wind and weather. Ever and anon she drew, with manifest enjoyment, at an old brown corncob pipe. Above her firm lips and beak like nose a pair of blue eyes struck out gaily and keenly at the world; eyes of a piercing, intense blue, whose brilliancy, as of living jewels, gave the lie to their surrounding tokens of toil and age.

"Drat it!" she burst forth, after a new bucking endeavour on the part of the car. "If I was to shoot this damned thing through the innards, maybe she'd quit sunfishin' on me! I'm goin' to sell her to Santy Fé sure's shooting; I'll get me a pair o' mules and a wagon, then I'll know what I'm doing. Dunno how come I ever was roped into buying this here contraption "

She suddenly halted her observations. Laying aside her pipe and peering out from the side of the dusty windshield, her keen eyes narrowed upon the road ahead.

Against that yellowish ribbon, with its bordering emptiness of mesquite, greasewood, and sage, there was nothing moving; but squarely in the centre of the road showed up a dark, motionless blotch. It was the figure of a man lying as though asleep. No man would or could lie asleep in the middle of this road, however, under the withering blaze of the downpouring New Mexico sun.

Suddenly the fitful flivver coughed under more gas; it roared, bucked, darted ahead, bucked again, and a dozen yards from the prostrate man it went leaping forward as though impelled by vindictive spite to run over the motionless figure... Continue reading book >>




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