Thursday. July 8. 1937
The concussion of that roaring
discharge brought a shower of
broken glass from the raised win
dow, sash, and the recoil upset
old Joe aw though a horse had
kicked him. The buckskin scream
ed wildly, spun around twice then
raced away. But it went with an
empty saddle. Following horses
leaped high as they hurdled the
still figure in the street.
Five seconds later it was all
over. Joe Rooney crawled to his
feet, rubbing his shoulder rueful
ly. "What a cannon!" he mutter
ed "What a cannon! Shore I felt
my shoulder blades touch when
that damn thing went off that
time. I shore musta hit some
"I'll say you did, Joe," grinned
Slim. Then he leaned out of the
window and yelled, "Hi, Roy!
Stoney! 'Yuh all right? This is
"Shore an' we're coming along,
Slim, my lad. Be with yuh in a
Roy and Stoney Sheard were
soon in the Wild Horse, both un
injured. They looked anxiously at
Dakota, who was sitting in a chair
while Spud Dillon carefully cut
away the bloody pants leg. Dako
ta grinned dryly.
"Keep yore shirts on, yuh two
ole ground hawgs. It ain't noth
in' to worry about. I could stand
a little jolt of liquor, though."'
"Git a bottle, Joe," puffed Spud.
."Yuh other boys help yoreselves.
f My treat."
The liquor steadied them. Ston
ey Sheard turned to Slim. "What
aay we sashay up the street a bit,
Slim? I kinda think I got Brock
well when they was ridin' for a
getaway. I know I hit him, an' he
was beginnin' to wobble just as
they went outa sight past the liv
Slim nodded and they went up
the street, picking their way past
groups of excited, jabbering
townspeople. Sure enough, not
twenty yards beyond the northern
end of the street, they found Sarg
Brockwell. He was sprawled flat
on his back, his face to the sky.
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IA single look satisfied them that
there was nothing they could do.
As they turned back. Slim re
membered George Arthur. "We
got to find that crooked lawyer,
Stoney. Brockwell cain't talk, but
Arthur can an' will, before I get
through with him. Yuh didn't see
him with that crowd anywhere?"
The cowboy chuckled sardonic
ally. "Him?" Why he ain't got
nerve enough to get within three
miles of a gun muzzle! Yuh'll find
him holin' up somewhere, scared
They slipped past the Wild
Horse, where Roy O'Brien and
Spud Dillon were taking turns at
explaining to a clamoring crowd,
just what it was all about. It was
Stoney who spied the crack of
light at the bottom of the door
leading into Arthur's office.
"Looks like somebody might be
in there. Slim," he drawled. "We
can investigate, anyhow."
Slim tried the door, but found
it locked. Pressing his ear to the
portal he listened intently. From
inside sounded thick, measured
snores. "Sounds like somebody
was sleepin' off a drunk," he mut
tered. "Well, we're goin in. Give
me a heave with this door."
Before the combined weight of
them, the door sagged, creaked,
then broke open with a crash.
George Arthur was sprawled
across his desk, his head pillowed
on his arms. The air was foul with
stale whiskey fumes.
Slim nodded with satisfaction.
"Close the door an' shove that
chair against it, Stoney," he di
He crossed to the sleeping man
and shook him roughly. Arthur
sighed, coughed and tried to push
him away. Slim jerked him erect
in the chair and slapped him
stingingly on both sides of his
face. Arthur's eyes opened.
"G'way," he murmured guttur
ally. "G'way. Lemme sleep."
Slim shook him until his heels
rattled. The lawyer stared at him
vacantly for a moment, his jaw
hanging. Then slow recognition
pierced through the liquor haze
which had deadened his brain.
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"Loyale," he murmured. "You—
what d'you want?"
"Plenty," ' snapped Slim. "Get
yore wits together. Yuh've got a
lot of explalnln' to do. Stoney
pour him another drink. It'll
straighten him up for a time."
Arthur gulped the liquor greed
ily and wiped his lips with the
back of a shaking hand. A drunk
en truculence took hold of him.
"Get out," he growled. "Got no
use for you, Loyale, I hate the
sight of you. Get out of this of
Slim shook him again, half lift
ing him from his seat, only to
fling him back again with a crash.
"I'm tellin' yuh somethin', yuh
drunken rat. listen close. Star
buck an' both Brockwells are daid.
Get that? Daid!"
Arthur's head came up. "Huh?"
he gasped. "Dead? You're lying."
"Don't kid yoreseltf. Starbuck
an' Leo Brockwell were killed
tryin* to raid my ranch tonight.
Sarg Brockwell was killed tryin'
to hold up the Standard Bank,
not fifteen minutes ago. But be
fore he died, Jigger Starbuck
talked. He put the tag on yuh,
Arthur. Yeah, yuh got a lot of ex
plainin' to do."
Arthur sat quietly, evidently
trying to arrange his hazy
thoughts. Presently he looked up.
"You haven't got a thing on me—.
not a thing. I won't say a word."
Slim dragged up a chair and
sat down, so that he could stare
straight into the lawyer's blood
shot eyes. "I think yuh will," he
said, a deadly chill in his voice.
"Consider my side of the matter.
Yuh can clear my name, give
written evidence to the world at
large that I was railroaded to the
pen on false, perjured evidence.
"It just happens, Arthur, that
I got a funny idee about honor. I
don't care to face the rest of my
life with a jail stain on it. An' I'm
plannin' a powerful lot for some
happiness in the future. So if yuh
think I won't go to the edges of
hell itself to get complete clear
ance, yo're badly mistaken.
"I made the threat that yuh'd
talk an' make a complete written
confession, if I had to use Apache
methods to wring it outa yuh. I
ain't changed my mind. We've
cleaned house on this range, Ar
thur—cleaned it plenty. We didn't
stop at roc kin' off the Brock
wells an' Jigger Starbucks. So if
yuh think we'll back down from
addin' yuh to the list, yo're some
"I'm admittin' this: In a fair
court yuh can probably beat a
death sentence, 'cause we got no
direct proof of yuh killin' any
body. But if yuh ever hope to get
in front of that kind of court, yuh
better" do as I tell you. -Otherwise
it's a rope an' a cottonwood tree
for yuh; that is if yuh don't die
under a little red-hot iron treat
ment. Yo're listenin' to the gos
pel truth, Arthur. I'm gonna get
what I want, or know the reason
Still half drunk as he was, Ar
thur could not help but read the
truth in Slim's words and looks.
His head went down again. "If—
if Ido as you say, what assur
ance have I that you'll play
square?" he blurted.
"My word; nothin' else. But my
word's good an' yuh know it. Are
yuh ready to do yore stuff?"
Arthur gulped and nodded.
"Give me a pen and some paper."
In the glowing dawn of a new
day, a little cavalcade jogged its
way from Pinnacle out to the Cir
cle L Ranch. In the lead rode
Slim Loyale and Stoney Sheard.
Following them was a buckboard,
with Roy O'Brien driving. Sitting
beside Roy, with his wounded leg
cushioned and propped up by
wads of blankets, was Dakota
"I suppose Slim'll be after see
in' the governor right away?" sug
Dakota nodded and grinned.
"He's as feverish as a hound pup
after its first rabbit. Don't know
as I blame him, though. The kid
has been eatin' his heart out all
along about Mona Hall. He's
plumb loco about her.
"An' though he's never hinted
of it to me, I know he's had some
dang-fool idee about honor that's
kept him from springin' the
question to her. Reckon he's sorta
felt that with that prison record
on his haid, he had no right to
ask her £o marry him."
Roy snorted. "As if that'd be
after making one bit of difference
to Miss Mona. She's knowed, bless
her heart, that Slim is innocent,
same as the rest of us. Shore, an
she's a fine girl. She'd stick to the
man she loved regardless. But
yuh have to honor the boy for
his pride, just the same."
At the home ranch Slim wasted
no time. He shaved and cleaned
up, donning his only suit of store
Out at the north end of Jeri
cho Valley, in company with Sam
Tisdale and Abe Fomachon, Mona
Hall sat in her saddle and watch
ed leaders of long tides of cattle
flow out across her range, headed
north towards those promised
lands in the Kicapoo range. As
soon as Tisdale had made the
agreement as to price with Slim
Loyale he had sent word to his
trail mates to start the herd mov
ingi And the herd was now on its
way to the new promised land.
Mona turned to Tisdale. "I feel
like a robber, Mr. Tisdale, taking
a quarter a head for the mere
passing of those cattle. I don't see
where they can possibly do that
Tisdale grinned. "Don't let that
worry yuh. Miss Hall. Me an' the
rest 6t the gang are glad to get
by with that price. We're quite
willin' to pay it. And here comes
somebody that looks as if he was
in a danged hurry."
Mona whirled and followed
Tisdale's pointing arm. Sure
enough a rider was loping steadily
towards them and Mona recog
A puncher had ridden from
town to tell her of the thwarted
bank holdup and the part Slim
and his boys had played. But she
had heard nothing of Arthur's
confession, and, while she had
expected that Slim would ride to
her when the fight was over, yet
she could not help the queer feel
ing that came over her now at the
sight of him.
Slim cantered up, giving a
cheery greeting. He shook hands
with Tisdale and Abe, then turn
ed to Mona. "I got something to
explain to yuh, Mona," he drawl
ed. "How about a little ride? These
boys can watch the cattle."
Mona nodded. "I think so, too.
You'll excuse us?"
"Go 'long, young 'mis," laughed
Tisdale, who guessed how things
stood between these two.
Slim rode for two miles before
he reined in. Then he turned to
Mona, his eyes glowing. "I've got
Arthur's signed and witnessed
confession that I was framed," he
stated. "And that makes it fair
that I should say what I'm goin
to say Mona." He reached in one
pocket and brought out a tiny,
plush bubble of a case.
"Back in Jarillo there were
times when I thought I'd go -crazy
At those times there was just one
thing that kept my feet on the
ground, an' that thing was think
in' of yuh. Lookin' back I can see
where yuh've been my guidin'
star all my life.
"Unconsciously I built my
scheme of livin' around yuh. It
wasn't whether I wanted to do
this or that merely because I
wanted to; it was because I al
ways did what I thought yuh
would approve of. Even when yuh
were a little, long-laiged kid with
pigtails down yore back, there
was 510 greater reward for duty
done, than yore smile.
"I—l've gotten so used to that
standard of reward now, I cain't
face the rest of life without it.
Before I got this confession, I had
no right to ask yuh. Now I can.
I've loved yuh forever, it seems
like, Mona. Will yuh marry me?"
She looked at him, her lips
parted, her eyes glistening. "If
there was anything that would
keep me from saying yes, Slim
Loyale, it is because you were so
silly in feeling that you could not
ask me until your name had been
cleared. A woman who would hes
itate over such a foolish thing,
would not be worth thinking
about. Your nam? has always been
clear with me, Slim. Til marry
you tomorrow, if you wish. I've
always loved you, Slim."
There was a rather dizzy inter
lude, during which a diamond sol
itaire that Slim had purchased in
town that morning was unearth
ed from the plush case and placed
on the proper finger. "There's just
one argument I've got to settle,"
said Slim. "Why wouldn't yuh
take that money from me to pay
Arthur with, honey?"
"Because I didn't want to be in
debt to the man I was going to
marry," replied Mona, daringly.
Slim chuckled. "Plumb shore of
me all the time, wasn't yuh?"
Mona dimpled. "I had hopes."
Slim readied for her again.
Patronize Tribune advertisers.
They offer real values.
NOTICE OF SALE
Notice is hereby given that the
undersigned will sell at public
auction for cash to the highest
bidder on the 10th day of July,
1937, at 12 o'clock noon all of the
stock of goods and certain fix
tures belonging to the Yadkin
ville Drug Company, and assigned
to F. D. B. Harding, Trustee, in
a deed of assignment made March
1, 1937, by N. W. Mackie.
The building and fixtures may
be leased or rented by the pur
chaser of the goods. See F. D. B.
Harding, Yadkinville, North Car
olina, for inventory and partic
This the 30th day of June, 1937
ltc F. D. B. HARDING.
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