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The Taming of Red Butte Western   By: (1856-1930)

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[Illustration: "I'll spend the last dollar of the fortune my father left me, if needful, in finding that man and hanging him!"]

The Taming of Red Butte Western

by Francis Lynde


Charles Scribner's Sons New York, 1916

1910, BY Charles Scribner's Sons Published April, 1910

[ILLUSTRATION: Publishers Stamp]



My brother in deed, though not by blood this tale of his birthland is affectionately inscribed.



I. Collars and Cuffs 3 II. The Red Desert 24 III. A Little Brother of the Cows 38 IV. At the Rio Gloria 59 V. The Outlaws 80 VI. Everyman's Share 102 VII. The Killer 122 VIII. Benson's Bridge Timbers 141 IX. Judson's Joke 157 X. Flemister and Others 177 XI. Nemesis 187 XII. The Pleasurers 202 XIII. Bitter Sweet 224 XIV. Blind Signals 248 XV. Eleanor Intervenes 260 XVI. The Shadowgraph 270 XVII. The Dipsomaniac 289 XVIII. At Silver Switch 305 XIX. The Challenge 324 XX. Storm Signals 346 XXI. The Boss Machinist 369 XXII. The Terror 380 XXIII. The Crucible 398


"I'll spend the last dollar of the fortune my father left me, if needful, in finding that man and hanging him!" Frontispiece FACING PAGE

His hand was on the latch of the door yard gate when a man rose out of the gloom. 138

"Bart's afraid he can't duck without dying." 176

"Well, gentlemen, I'm waiting. Why don't you shoot?" 400

The Taming of Red Butte Western



The windows of the division head quarters of the Pacific Southwestern at Copah look northward over bald, brown mesas, and across the Pannikin to the eroded cliffs of the Uintah Hills. The prospect, lacking vegetation, artistic atmosphere, and color, is crude and rather harshly aggressive; and to Lidgerwood, glooming thoughtfully out upon it through the weather worn panes scratched and bedimmed by many desert sandstorms, it was peculiarly depressing.

"No, Ford; I hate to disappoint you, but I'm not the man you are looking for," he said, turning back to things present and in suspense, and speaking as one who would add a reason to unqualified refusal. "I've been looking over the ground while you were coming on from New York. It isn't in me to flog the Red Butte Western into a well behaved division of the P. S W."

The grave eyed man who had borrowed Superintendent Leckhard's pivot chair nodded intelligence.

"That is what you have been saying, with variations, for the last half hour. Why?"

"Because the job asks for gifts that I don't possess. At the present moment the Red Butte Western is the most hopelessly demoralized three hundred miles of railroad west of the Rockies. There is no system, no discipline, no respect for authority. The men run the road as if it were a huge joke. Add to these conditions the fact that the Red Desert is a country where the large calibred revolver is "

"Yes, I know all that," interrupted the man in the chair. "The road and the region need civilizing need it badly. That is one of the reasons why I am trying to persuade you to take hold. You are long on civilization, Howard."

"Not on the kind which has to be inculcated by main strength and a cheerful disregard for consequences. I'm no scrapper."

To the eye of appraisal, Lidgerwood's personal appearance bore out the peaceable assertion to the final well groomed detail. Compactly built and neatly, brawn and bulk were conspicuously lacking; and the thin, intellectual face was made to appear still thinner by the pointed cut of the closely trimmed brown beard... Continue reading book >>

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