Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

With Hoops of Steel   By: (1858-1939)

Book cover

First Page:

WITH HOOPS OF STEEL

BY FLORENCE FINCH KELLY

ILLUSTRATED BY DAN SMITH

" The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel. "

NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS

Made in the United States of America

COPYRIGHT 1900

THE BOWEN MERRILL COMPANY

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

[Illustration: "ON AND ON THROUGH THE NIGHT THEY GALLOPED, NECK TO NECK AND HEEL TO HEEL." p. 63 ]

PUBLISHERS' NOTE

Owen Wister's THE VIRGINIAN and Florence Finch Kelly's WITH HOOPS OF STEEL were the first of the modern cow boy novels. Twenty five years have passed since Mrs. Kelly's enthralling story first appeared September, 1900. Most of the novels published then and since, are dead and forgotten. Not so WITH HOOPS OF STEEL. It was in continuous demand from its first friendly welcome by the critics until the World War turned public attention to Europe. Even so its vitality persisted, justified this new edition, and seems to warrant the belief that the present generation will find its story interest as vivid and as exciting as did the past, and its value even greater, for it presents an authentic portrait of the old southwestern cattlemen and a fascinating picture of a phase of national development now passed into history.

THE PUBLISHERS.

WITH HOOPS OF STEEL

CHAPTER I

The soft, muffling dusk settled slowly downward from the darkening blue sky and little by little smothered the weird gleam that rose from the gray white plain. Away toward the east a range of mountains gloomed faintly, rimming the distance. Another towered against the western horizon. Cactus clumps and bunches of mesquite and greasewood blotted the whitely gleaming earth. In and out among these dark spots a man was slowly riding. Now and then he leaned forward and looked keenly through the growing darkness as though searching for some familiar landmark. The horse lagged across the heavy sand, with drooping head and ears. The rider patted its neck with a buckskin gloved hand and spoke cheerily to the tired animal:

"Hot and tired, ain't you, old fellow? You want your supper and a big drink of water. Well, you oughtn't to have wandered off the road while I was asleep. Now, I sure reckon we've got to bunk on a sand heap to night and wait till daylight to find out where we are."

Again he peered through the dusk, and a little ray of light came glimmering from far away toward the right. He knew that it must come from either a ranch house or a camp fire.

"I don't remember any ranch as far up toward the White Sands as that seems to be," he thought. "It must be a camp fire. We don't know whose it is, old pard, but we're goin' to take chances on it."

He rode on in silence, the bridle lying loosely on the horse's neck. All the senses of the plainsman were on the alert, his ears were strained to catch the faintest sound that might come from the direction of the fire, while his eyes alternately swept the darkened plain and fastened themselves on the light. His horse pricked up its ears and gave a loud whinny, which was answered in kind from the direction of the fire. Presently the man shouted a loud "hello," but there was no reply. "That's queer!" he thought. "My voice ought to carry that far, sure!" He waited a few moments, listening intently, then, drawing in a deep breath, he sent out another long, loud call that bellowed across the plain and sank into the far darkness. Still there was no reply, but when his horse neighed again there was instant response. The animal had quickened its pace and with head up and ears bent forward was rapidly lessening the distance between them and the light. The rider could see that it was a camp fire, and soon could distinguish the flickering of the flames, but, in the illuminated circle around it there was no sign of human beings nor shadow of moving life. He drew rein and again sent a full lunged, far reaching "hello o o" across the distance... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books