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The Quirt   By: (1874-1940)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover]

THE QUIRT

=By B.M. Bower=

GOOD INDIAN

LONESOME LAND

THE UPHILL CLIMB

THE GRINGOS

THE RANCH AT THE WOLVERINE

THE FLYING U'S LAST STAND

JEAN OF THE LAZY A

THE PHANTOM HERD

THE HERITAGE OF THE SIOUX

STARR, OF THE DESERT

THE LOOKOUT MAN

CABIN FEVER

SKYRIDER

THE THUNDER BIRD

RIM O' THE WORLD

THE QUIRT

[Illustration: Al's gun spoke, and Warfield sagged at the knees and the shoulders, and slumped to the ground. FRONTISPIECE. See page 294. ]

THE QUIRT

BY B.M. BOWER

WITH FRONTISPIECE BY ANTON OTTO FISCHER

[Illustration]

BOSTON LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY 1920

Copyright, 1920,

BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

All rights reserved

Published May, 1920 Reprinted, May, 1920 Reprinted, July, 1920 Reprinted, October, 1920

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. LITTLE FISH 1

II. THE ENCHANTMENT OF LONG DISTANCE 12

III. REALITY IS WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING 22

IV. "SHE'S A GOOD GIRL WHEN SHE AIN'T CRAZY" 38

V. A DEATH "BY ACCIDENT" 54

VI. LONE ADVISES SILENCE 68

VII. THE MAN AT WHISPER 85

VIII. "IT TAKES NERVE JUST TO HANG ON" 100

IX. THE EVIL EYE OF THE SAWTOOTH 115

X. ANOTHER SAWTOOTH "ACCIDENT" 126

XI. SWAN TALKS WITH HIS THOUGHTS 144

XII. THE QUIRT PARRIES THE FIRST BLOW 158

XIII. LONE TAKES HIS STAND 168

XIV. "FRANK'S DEAD" 178

XV. SWAN TRAILS A COYOTE 192

XVI. THE SAWTOOTH SHOWS ITS HAND 200

XVII. YACK DON'T LIE 216

XVIII. "I THINK AL WOODRUFF'S GOT HER" 233

XIX. SWAN CALLS FOR HELP 245

XX. KIDNAPPED 255

XXI. "OH, I COULD KILL YOU!" 264

XXII. "YACK, I LICK YOU GOOD IF YOU BARK" 277

XXIII. "I COULDA LOVED THIS LITTLE GIRL" 284

XXIV. ANOTHER STORY BEGINS 296

THE QUIRT

CHAPTER ONE

LITTLE FISH

Quirt Creek flowed sluggishly between willows which sagged none too gracefully across its deeper pools, or languished beside the rocky stretches that were bone dry from July to October, with a narrow channel in the center where what water there was hurried along to the pools below. For a mile or more, where the land lay fairly level in a platter like valley set in the lower hills, the mud that rimmed the pools was scored deep with the tracks of the "TJ up and down" cattle, as the double monogram of Hunter and Johnson was called.

A hard brand to work, a cattleman would tell you. Yet the TJ up and down herd never seemed to increase beyond a niggardly three hundred or so, though the Quirt ranch was older than its lordly neighbors, the Sawtooth Cattle Company, who numbered their cattle by tens of thousands and whose riders must have strings of fifteen horses apiece to keep them going; older too than many a modest ranch that had flourished awhile and had finished as line camps of the Sawtooth when the Sawtooth bought ranch and brand for a lump sum that looked big to the rancher, who immediately departed to make himself a new home elsewhere: older than others which had somehow gone to pieces when the rancher died or went to the penitentiary under the stigma of a long sentence as a cattle thief. There were many such, for the Sawtooth, powerful and stern against outlawry, tolerated no pilfering from their thousands.

The less you have, the more careful you are of your possessions. Hunter and Johnson owned exactly a section and a half of land, and for a mile and a half Quirt Creek was fenced upon either side. They hired two men, cut what hay they could from a field which they irrigated, fed their cattle through the cold weather, watched them zealously through the summer, and managed to ship enough beef each fall to pay their grocery bill and their men's wages and have a balance sufficient to buy what clothes they needed, and perhaps pay a doctor if one of them fell ill... Continue reading book >>




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