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Penny of Top Hill Trail   By:

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[Illustration: Penny and the Sheriff match wits under the stars. ]

PENNY of Top Hill Trail

By Belle Kanaris Maniates

Author of "Amarilly of Clothes Line Alley," "Mildew Manse," etc.

Frontispiece by Philip Lyford

The Reilly & Lee Co. Chicago

Copyright, 1919 By The Reilly & Lee Co.

All Rights Reserved

Made in U. S. A.

Published, Feb. 8, 1919 Second Printing, Feb. 10, 1919

Penny of Top Hill Trail

PENNY OF TOP HILL TRAIL

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I 7 CHAPTER II 33 CHAPTER III 60 CHAPTER IV 90 CHAPTER V 108 CHAPTER VI 116 CHAPTER VII 141 CHAPTER VIII 155 CHAPTER IX 161 CHAPTER X 177 CHAPTER XI 203 CHAPTER XII 216 CHAPTER XIII 232 CHAPTER XIV 238 CHAPTER XV 248 CHAPTER XVI 262 CHAPTER XVII 282

[Transcriber's Note: Table of Contents was not present in the original publication.]

PENNY of Top Hill Trail

CHAPTER I

On an afternoon in early spring a man lounged against the wall of the station waiting for the express from the east. Slender of waist and hip, stalwart of shoulder, some seventy two inches of sinewy height, he was the figure of the typical cattleman. His eyes were deep set and far seeing; his lean, brown face, roughened by outdoor life, was austere and resolute in expression.

The train had barely stopped when a boyish looking, lithe limbed youth leaped from the platform. The blue serge suit and checked cap he wore did not disguise the fact that his working clothes his field uniform were those of a cow puncher. A few quick strides brought him to the man in waiting.

"Hoped you'd be on hand to meet me, Kurt, so I could get out to the ranch to night. How's things up there?"

"Just the same as they were when you left, Jo," said the one addressed in whimsical tone. "You've only been gone ten days, you know."

"You don't say!" ejaculated Jo, following his companion through the depot. "City does age a man."

Gone are the days of The Golden West when spurred and revolvered horsemen sprang into saddles and loped out of the brush, or skimmed over matted mesquite on a buckboard drawn by swift running ponies.

A long racing car was waiting for the two men and they were soon speeding over a hard baked, steel like road that led up, around and over the far flung, undulating hills before them.

"I thought Kingdon's best car was worth a million bucks before I went to Chicago," said Joe critically, "but it sure would look like a two spot on Michigan Avenue."

The other smiled indulgently.

"I trust everything out here won't suffer by comparison with the things you have seen during your journey."

"I should say not! It all looks pretty good to me. I wouldn't change this trail to Top Hill for all the boulevards and asphalts of Chicago, and our ranch house has got any hotel I saw skinned by a mile for real living. I had some vacation, though, and it was mighty good of you to send me on that business. I 'tended to it, all right as soon as I got there, before I took in any of the sights or let loose for my 'time.' I won't forget it in you, Kurt to send me instead of going yourself."

"Well, Jo, you'd been cooped up here a long time for a youngster," said Kurt, laying a hand on the younger man's shoulder, "and I saw you were rarin' for a little recreation. I thought you would settle down to a hard season's work if you let out a little. I received your report and check. You managed that cattle deal very shrewdly. Kingdon was much pleased."

"That's encouraging, but I feel better at pleasing you, Kurt."

They rode on without talking for some distance. From time to time Kurt cast a searching glance at the young man whose eyes shone with a strange, steady light a look of exaltation and despair combined.

The car slowed down to conversational need.

"What 'tis, Jo? Did you come to grief when you 'let loose?' Let go all your earnings in one big game without any way slips, or did you have such a round of theatres, cabarets and night life that you are feeling the depression of reaction?"

"You're guessing wrong," replied Jo quietly... Continue reading book >>




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