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these three years that I should be and fumed and called himself several discovered!”
different brands of a fool. Three years before, Pedro Vierra had
"Serves me right for not putting braceput the blot of murder on his care-free
lets on the greaser!” he ejaculated for young life. In a saloon duel, bred by a about the tenth time. “A soft-hearted fuss over cards, he had sent a bullet fool—that's what I am! Listening to his straight to the heart of his opponent. guff about him not wanting to pass handInstantly he had fled across the border cuffed through the town because his girl and when at length he had ventured back might see him—huh!” Keegan gave a to the States, he went to a new vicinity snort of disgust. and took unto himself another name.
His eyes strayed toward the hill across But the illusion that he had fooled the the river. Small chance there was of law was shattered to smithereens that observing the watching man huddled bebright August morning when Sheriff
neath the low-hanging branches of the Keegan walked out to the ranch where
madrone; yet as he drew near the Rio Pedro was employed as vaquero and said, Pequeno, Keegan became possessed of “Pedro Vierra, come with me!"
the feeling that he was under observation. "A fool, that sheriff!" reflected Pedro “I'll bet my shirt he's somewhere up as he comfortably puffed his cigarette there,” ruminated the sheriff. “I'll just there on the hillside and scoured the mesa cross the river and have a little look with his searching gaze; he laughed around." softly as he thought of how he had out But this plan died a quick death, for witted Keegan. "Ah, well! By the as the sheriff's horse began to morrow I will be far from here-over the descend the bank, a six-shooter barked border, and I will laugh at the law of the from some remote spot on the hillside, and gringo!"
something splashed in the water. A bad hombre, indeed, Pedro Vierra! Sheriff Keegan, ducking low, backed
He dozed in the heat of the afternoon his horse into the chaparral and dissun, arousing himself now and again to mounted. He drew his pistol and waited. brush away ambitious mosquitoes and to Several minutes passed—tense minutes, gaze out on the mesa.
There was no fraught with an ominous silence that fear in the heart of Pedro. For on the spelled death. ground beside him reposed the same six The sheriff grew stiff from his rigid shooter that had that morning reposed in posture; his eyes smarted from staring the hip pocket of Sheriff Keegan. Three steadily upward. Then cautiously he chambers of the pistol were loaded. arose from his knees. Zing! Something
“Two shots too many,” boasted Pedro. sung vengefully as it whipped the air "But one I need to find my mark!" above his head. Keegan Aung himself to
It was in the middle of the afternoon the ground. when Pedro caught sight of an object "If I remember rightly, the little rat's moving in and out among the chaparral got one more shot left," grunted the out on The fugitive sat up
sheriff. suddenly, his black eyes equinting to mere He put his wits to work. Then with a slits.
broad chuckle set himself to performing “Keegan!” he muttered and spat a the trick that was to defeat Pedro Vierra. great oath from his lips; his brown A trick as old as the hills-Keegan fingers strayed toward the six-shooter. grinned heartily at the thought of out“He who tries to cross the Rio Pequeno witting the bad hombre in such a must die. Ah! But the horse—you shall be saved my caballo!” His voice be Lying flat, so that he might risk no
mocking as he rambled chance of being seen, the sheriff drew his “Gracias, Senor Keegan! You have penknife from his pocket and hacked saved me much trouble by bringing the away at the branch of a scrub-oak until beast to me!”
he severed it. Still chuckling, he slashed Out on the mesa, the big sheriff fretted off the leaves and when he had done, he
placed his Stetson on the end of the the low brush that lay along the banks of stick. Then he arose to his knees, and the Rio Pequeno. raised the hat slowly upward.
“Has my sight failed me that I can no A second later a bullet came rushing longer hit the mark?" Pedro railed at himdownward to tear its way straight through self in his madness. “Keegan bears a the hat of Sheriff Tom Keegan, who charmed life"allowed stick and Stetson to fall to the "Hands up, Vierra!" the sheriff's voice ground.
came booming upward; there was a glint "He thinks I'm done for-well, now for of steel in the sunlight. “I've got you the grand surprise!" And still grinning
up, I say!" broadly, Keegan arose.
Pedro swore in mad anguish as his Up there in his hiding place, beneath hands went above his head. And as the red branches of the madrone, Pedro Keegan, now mounted, urged his horse Vierra smiled his elation as he crawled into the river, two visions flashed into to his feet. “Now for the horse and the mind of the bad man. He saw himaway-Dios!”
self, shame-faced and shackled, being For then it was that the head and marched through the streets of the town, shoulders of Sheriff Keegan arose above
(Continued on Page 91)
LINES TO THE POPPY.
(On receiving a dried specimen in a letter.)
By Alice l'Anson.
Flower of the Argonaut
In a letter's fold,
Of gossamer and gold —
I can see those hills o'er-run
With your golden crest,
Glory of the West!
As my weary soul is stirred
In the olden way
Or the linnet's lay.
Poppy, have you memories yet
Of a realm of bliss?
Wooed by zephyr's kiss?
And in twilight's subtle hour,
As I sadly roam,
Call a wanderer home?
Not Even Familiar Roads Are Quite Devoid of Interest.
By Helen Mann
ES, OLD DEAR, you may as well think that question mark might be Y put on a pretty smile and come adopted by all futuristic painters and along."
labeled Napa. Think I'll suggest it. "But Napa!" incredulously.
We saw the "Hermit's" house, high up "Why not Napa?" I questioned. on the hill. It is built entirely of stone
“I believe the insane asylum is there, is with only one small window and one door, it' not?" Wilma's tone
was sweetly but he had one of the most beautiful sarcastic.
views in all California. I am not so sure "M-m," I admitted. “And scenery, if that he was
as crazy as some people scenery means anything in your young might think. And he had worked, poor life.”
dear. There were miles and miles of "But this is summer," Wilma protested stone wall fences on the hills, all of which feebly. "The hills are all dried up and he had built. I think he must have come brown and there are flowers to
from New England and gotten homesick speak of."
for its scenery. Perhaps his freed soul "If you don't know the beauty of the roams its beloved spot now. California summer landscape," I replied The flower gardens and lawns in the stiffly, “it is time you learned."
grounds are very well taken care of and "Well," she said good-naturedly, "I can there is a profusion of enormous trees, try anything once.'
eucalyptic, pine, and acacia which are So we got the machine and made for exquisite beyond belief when in full the Sausalito ferry.
bloom. We passed Mill Valley and went on We made but a brief stop at the dairy. through several small towns before we I once had a colored maid helping me at to Napa. The hills were great
the Red Cross tea room.
She had just masses of living gold with patches of been commenting on a recent happening. green or purple here and there. Oh, “Miss Mann," she said, "ain't some those deceptive brown hills which look so people queer. They ought to be written smooth and soft and which are, in reality, up in a dairy." I agree with her, but did so prickly and hard. I know, because we not take the time to do it at Napa. tried to eat our picnic luncheon on the The town of Napa is small but interestslope of one.
ing. We soon left it far behind as we The “State Hospital," as the asylum is raced through the enchanting country. politely called, is situated in a very beau Soon we came to a gyser-or it is one tiful spot and viewed from the gates, is when it gises. It takes an hour for it to very artistic. We drove slowly through make up its mind, however, and knowing the grounds, stopped to pass a word now that there was one farther on that is more and then and to talk to "Tiptoe Bill." He active, we drove to it. We got there just has walked on his toes for so long, he is in time to see it show off. It spouted sixty unable to use his whole foot. He carries feet into the air and the water was boiling a large stick but often leans it and himself hot. It lasted two minutes by my watch. against the wall and it is difficult to tell After about an hour's ride we came to one from the other. "Tiptoe Bill” showed the petrified forest. I wonder why this us some of his oil paintings. They were curio spot is not more advertised. Surely very futuristic in style and every portrait it should be. owned a question mark for an ear. I We saw giant redwood trees waving