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Wunpost   By: (1873-1940)

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WUNPOST

WUNPOST

BY

DANE COOLIDGE

AUTHOR OF

LORENZO THE MAGNIFICENT, THE DESERT TRAIL, RIMROCK JONES, ETC.

GROSSET & DUNLAP

PUBLISHERS NEW YORK

Published by Arrangement with E. P. Dutton & Company

Copyright, 1920,

By E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY

All Rights Reserved

First printing ... April, 1920

Second printing ... May, 1920

Printed in the United States of America

CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I. The Death Valley Trail 1 II. The Gateway of Dreams 9 III. Dusty Rhodes Eats Dirt 20 IV. The Tree of Life 30 V. The Willie Meena 42 VI. Cinched 51 VII. More Dreams 63 VIII. The Babes in the Woods 73 IX. A New Deal 85 X. Short Sports 91 XI. The Stinging Lizard 102 XII. Back Home 114 XIII. With Hay hooks 128 XIV. Poisoned Bait 135 XV. Wunpost Takes Them All On 144 XVI. Divine Providence 156 XVII. The Answer 168 XVIII. A Lesson 175 XIX. Tainted Money 183 XX. The War Eagle 190 XXI. A Lock of Hair 200 XXII. The Fear of the Hills 209 XXIII. The Return of the Blow hard 217 XXIV. Something New 226 XXV. The Challenge 233 XXVI. The Fine Print 242 XXVII. A Come Back 251 XXVIII. Wunpost Has a Bad Dream 259 XXIX. In Trust 268

WUNPOST

CHAPTER I

THE DEATH VALLEY TRAIL

The heat hung like smoke above Panamint Sink, it surged up against the hills like the waves of a great sea that boiled and seethed in the sun; and the mountains that walled it in gleamed and glistened like polished jet where the light was struck back from their sides. They rose up in solid ramparts, unbelievably steep and combed clean by the sluicings of cloudbursts; and where the black canyons had belched forth their floods a broad wash spread out, writhing and twisting like a snake track, until at last it was lost in the Sink. For the Sink was the swallower up of all that came from the hills and whatever it sucked in it buried beneath its sands or poisoned on its alkali flats. Yet the Death Valley trail led across its level floor thirty miles from Wild Rose Springs to Blackwater and its saloons and while the heat danced and quivered there was a dust in the north pass and a pack train swung round the point.

It came on furiously, four burros with flat packs and an old man who ran cursing behind; and as he passed down into the Sink there was another dust in the north and a lone man followed as furiously after him. He was young and tall, a mountain of rude strength, and as he strode off down the trail he brandished a piece of quartz and swung his hat in the air. But the pack train kept on, a column of swirling dust, a blotch of burro gray in the heat; and as he emptied his canteen he hurled it to the ground and took after his partner on the run. He could see the twinkling feet, the heave of the white packs, the vindictive form dodging behind; and then his knees weakened, his throbbing brain seemed to burst and he fell down cursing in the trail. But the pack train went on like a tireless automaton that no human power could stay and when he raised his head it was a streamer of dust, a speck on the far horizon.

He rose up slowly and looked around at the empty trail, the waterless flats, the barren hills all about and then he raised his fist, which still clutched the chunk of quartz, and shook it at the pillar of dust... Continue reading book >>




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