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Sawtooth Ranch   By: (1874-1940)

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First Page:

SAWTOOTH RANCH

BY

B. M. BOWER

METHUEN & CO. LTD. 36 ESSEX STREET, W.C. LONDON

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

JEAN OF THE LAZY A GOOD INDIAN THE UPHILL CLIMB THE GRINGOS THE FLYING U'S LAST STAND THE PHANTOM HERD THE HERITAGE OF THE SIOUX SKYRIDER

This Book was First Published in Great Britain . . . March 10th, 1921

First Issued in this Cheap Form . . . 1922

CONTENTS

CHAP.

I. LITTLE FISH II. THE ENCHANTMENT OF LONG DISTANCE III. REALITY IS WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING IV. "SHE'S A GOOD GIRL WHEN SHE AIN'T CRAZY" V. A DEATH "BY ACCIDENT" VI. LONE ADVISES SILENCE VII. THE MAN AT WHISPER VIII. "IT TAKES NERVE JUST TO HANG ON" IX. THE EVIL EYE OF THE SAWTOOTH X. ANOTHER SAWTOOTH "ACCIDENT" XI. SWAN TALKS WITH HIS THOUGHTS XII. THE QUIRT PARRIES THE FIRST BLOW XIII. LONE TAKES HIS STAND XIV. "FRANK'S DEAD" XV. SWAN TRAILS A COYOTE XVI. THE SAWTOOTH SHOWS ITS HAND XVII. YACK DON'T LIE XVIII. "I THINK AL WOODRUFF'S GOT HER" XIX. SWAN CALLS FOR HELP XX. KIDNAPPED XXI. "OH, I COULD KILL YOU!" XXII. "YACK, I LICK YOU GOOD IF YOU BARK" XXIII. "I COULDA LOVED THIS LITTLE GIRL" XXIV. ANOTHER STORY BEGINS

SAWTOOTH RANCH

CHAPTER I

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 centre 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 neighbours, 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. Which frequently happened, since Brit was becoming a prey to rheumatism that sometimes kept him in bed, and Frank occasionally indulged himself in a gallon or so of bad whisky and suffered afterwards from a badly deranged digestion.

Their house was a two room log cabin, built when logs were easier to get than lumber. That the cabin contained two rooms was the result of circumstances rather than design. Brit had hauled from the mountain side logs long and logs short, and it had seemed a shame to cut the long ones any shorter. Later, when the outside world had crept a little closer to their wilderness as, go where you will, the outside world has a way of doing he had built a lean to shed against the cabin from what lumber there was left after building a cowshed against the log barn... Continue reading book >>




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