been so treated by Bobadilla, a wave ofpopular indignation
"There are other bandits besides Quinteros, not so famous or such great leaders, but just as bloodthirsty. I've seen Rojas. He's a handsome, bold sneering devil, vainer than any peacock. He decks himself in gold lace and sliver trappings, in all the finery he can steal. He was one of the rebels who helped sack Sinaloa and carry off half a million in money and valuables. Rojas spends gold like he spills blood. But he is chiefly famous for abducting women. the peon girls consider it an honor to be ridden off with. Rojas has shown a penchant for girls of the better class."
Thorne wiped the perspiration from his pale face and bent a dark gaze out of the window before he resumed his talk.
"Consider what the position of Mercedes really is. I can't get any help from our side of the line. If so, I don't know where. The population on that side is mostly Mexican, absolutely in sympathy with whatever actuates those on this side. The whole caboodle of Greasers on both sides belong to the class in sympathy with the rebels, the class that secretly respects men like Rojas, and hates an aristocrat like Mercedes. They would conspire to throw her into his power. Rojas can turn all the hidden underground influences to his ends. Unless I thwart him he'll get Mercedes as easily as he can light a cigarette. But I'll kill him or some of his gang or her before I let him get her. . . . This is the situation, old friend. I've little time to spare. I face arrest for desertion. Rojas is in town. I think I was followed to this hotel. The priest has betrayed me or has been stopped. Mercedes is here alone, waiting, absolutely dependent upon me to save her from--from....She's the sweetest, loveliest girl!...In a few moments--sooner or later there'll be hell here! Dick, are you with me?"
Dick Gale drew a long, deep breath. A coldness, a lethargy, an indifference that had weighed upon him for months had passed out of his being. On the instant he could not speak, but his hand closed powerfully upon his friend's. Thorne's face changed wonderfully, the distress, the fear, the appeal all vanishing in a smile of passionate gratefulness.
Then Dick's gaze, attracted by some slight sound, shot over his friend's shoulder to see a face at the window--a handsome, bold, sneering face, with glittering dark eyes that flashed in sinister intentness.
Dick stiffened in his seat. Thorne, with sudden clenching of hands, wheeled toward the window.
The dark face vanished. Dick Gale heard footsteps and the tinkle of spurs. He strode to the window, and was in time to see a Mexican swagger into the front door of the saloon. Dick had only a glimpse; but in that he saw a huge black sombrero with a gaudy band, the back of a short, tight-fitting jacket, a heavy pearl-handled gun swinging with a fringe of sash, and close-fitting trousers spreading wide at the bottom. There were men passing in the street, also several Mexicans lounging against the hitching-rail at the curb.
"Did you see him? Where did he go?" whispered Thorne, as he joined Gale. "Those Greasers out there with the cartridge belts crossed over their breasts--they are rebels."
- possessed for him. So it came that his was a familiar figure
- recent past, I had met with an apparent associate of the
- expression, they would be out for trouble! What gave you
- here holds the keys of the case, under the will of the
- pouring into the cave of the dragon through the open door
- his face, his dreadful, featureless face, twisted up at
- window, and I lay back in the armchair that had been occupied
- Neither of us, I think, was disposed to talk. We both were
- The wide heavens about her seemed to promise a greater
- Bristol arose and once more went out to the gate. He had
- duty at the gate stood with his back to the wall. No one
- them with cunning enough to know it. At the same time I
- wall. He staggered down again; his remarkable physical
- arranged to visit Morris's post every half-hour. Again
- At that my overwrought nerves betrayed me. I uttered a
- stood, reliquary of a worthless thing for which much blood
- Max realized that he must lower his head if he would follow.
- I don't wonder! They may be on us any time now. All's
- windows widely opened. My companion was seated where the
- Bristol, I said suddenly, it was someone who came through
- and the land was wooded down to the water’s edge. In
- keen-faced man whose curiously wide-open eyes met mine
- I could give it no name of man or spirit. But a horror
- room used as a study was on the ground floor, and had windows
- fowls, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and cattle; the order
- be others, as well as Hassan of Aleppo, seeking to gain
- idea had entered my mind that she might have learned of
- doesn't it seem to you foolhardy for us thus to expose
- the leadership of each to men whom he believed that he
- again the tall Eastern visitor and was held fascinated
- I hardly know, I returned evasively, for even now I was
- burst upon my mind. I peopled the still blackness with
- which swirled fully three feet of water, which, slowly
- Sorry, gentlemen, he said, smiling, but Mr. Acepulos
- The curator spoke lower than ever now; no one beyond the
- In its light I saw Bristol lying like a dead man. Close
- one of our party was unable anywhere to purchase either
- Moslems as evidently European as this curiously alert visitor
- the existence of such a party, my beautiful acquaintance
- bell proclaimed midnight. Our vigil was begun. In this
- Was it, though, the ever beautiful blossoms of hollyhocks
- breeze, too, seemed now to blow from a slightly different
- furnished by his solicitor as one of the slippers worn
- lighting of the room. Why, I asked myself, had the attack
- could trust. To them he explained his plans and the rich
- frozen with uncanny fear, and watching—watching the spot
- that he had been kidnapped or anything of that kind. I
- And now my attention turned anew to the course of the slowly
- (an odd red-breasted little bird, which inhabits the thick
- No one, he replied, came through the windows. West saw