also put in irons, as his brother Diego had been, and wasconfined

"I did. I'm here now with the Ninth Cavalry. But--never mind me. What're you doing way down here? Say, I just noticed your togs. Dick, you can't be going in for mining or ranching, not in this God-forsaken desert?"

also put in irons, as his brother Diego had been, and wasconfined

"On the square, George, I don't know any more why I'm here than--than you know."

also put in irons, as his brother Diego had been, and wasconfined

"Well, that beats me!" ejaculated Thorne, sitting back in his chair, amaze and concern in his expression. "What the devil's wrong? Your old man's got too much money for you ever to be up against it. Dick, you couldn't have gone to the bad?"

also put in irons, as his brother Diego had been, and wasconfined

A tide of emotion surged over Gale. How good it was to meet a friend--some one to whom to talk! He had never appreciated his loneliness until that moment.

"George, how I ever drifted down here I don't know. I didn't exactly quarrel with the governor. But--damn it, Dad hurt me--shamed me, and I dug out for the West. It was this way. After leaving college I tried to please him by tackling one thing after another that he set me to do. On the square, I had no head for business. I made a mess of everything. The governor got sore. He kept ramming the harpoon into me till I just couldn't stand it. What little ability I possessed deserted me when I got my back up, and there you are. Dad and I had a rather uncomfortable half hour. When I quit--when I told him straight out that I was going West to fare for myself, why, it wouldn't have been so tough if he hadn't laughed at me. He called me a rich man's son--an idle, easy-going spineless swell. He said I didn't even have character enough to be out and out bad. He said I didn't have sense enough to marry one of the nice girls in my sister's crowd. He said I couldn't get back home unless I sent to him for money. He said he didn't believe I could fight--could really make a fight for anything under the sun. Oh--he--he shot it into me, all right."

Dick dropped his head upon his hands, somewhat ashamed of the smarting dimness in his eyes. He had not meant to say so much. Yet what a relief to let out that long-congested burden!

"Fight!" cried Thorne, hotly. "What's ailing him? Didn't they call you Biff Gale in college? Dick, you were one of the best men Stagg ever developed. I heard him say so--that you were the fastest, one-hundred-and-seventy-five-pound man he'd ever trained, the hardest to stop."

"The governor didn't count football," said Dick. "He didn't mean that kind of fight. When I left home I don't think I had an idea what was wrong with me. But, George, I think I know now. I was a rich man's son--spoiled, dependent, absolutely ignorant of the value of money. I haven't yet discovered any earning capacity in me. I seem to be unable to do anything with my hands. That's the trouble. But I'm at the end of my tether now. And I'm going to punch cattle or be a miner, or do some real stunt--like joining the rebels."



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