Oliver Strange - Sudden Westerns 01 - The Range Robbers(1930) (51 page)

BOOK: Oliver Strange - Sudden Westerns 01 - The Range Robbers(1930)
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“This
findin’ o’ parents is a right upsettin’ business,’ he stated. “Larry will
smile—he christened me Don—claimed I was a born disturber o’ yore sex; but he
was wrong there, I never had any time for women.’

 
          
“Except
the Pretty Lady, of course,’ the girl ventured.

 
          
The
puncher smiled. “Now who could have told yu about her?’ he questioned.

 
          
“Yu
told me yourself when you were feverish,’ she replied, blushing under the
scrutiny he gave her.

 
          
“I
guess I talked a lot o’ nonsense—a man is apt to at them times,’ he reflected,
and when she did not rise to the bait he went off at a tangent. “Tarman would
‘a’ finished me if yu hadn’t made yore hoss jump; he wasn’t shore.’

 
          
Before
she could reply, a burst of cheering and a volley of pistol shots shattered the
air. The girl started up in alarm, but the patient was smiling.

 
          
“He
has told the boys, an’ I reckon they’re pleased,’ he said. “I wish he had
waited.’

 
          
“But
why?’ she asked, unable to follow this new line of thought.

 
          
“It’ll
make it harder when I go,’ he replied, and when she stared at him in
bewilderment, he added almost fiercely, Did yu figure I’d stay here an’ rob yu
o’ yore inheritance—yu who have been a real daughter to him all these years?
Why, I’d be near as bad as Tarman.’

 
          
“But
it would break his heart to lose you again,’ she cried, conscious that she was
fighting too for her own happiness. “He had been the kindest of fathers to me,
but always he has grieved for the boy who should have been here to follow him.’

 
          
The
puncher lay silent for a while, thinking, but watching the thin, set face, the
girl knew that her pleading had not succeeded; he had solved the problem
according to his own idea of right and wrong. When he spoke again she knew she
had read him correctly.

 
          
“It
shore is tough, but I can’t stay here an’ take yore ranch,’ he said dully. “I
gotta go—it’s the on’y trail out.’

 
          
Noreen
had come to a decision. Smiling tremulously, she laid a hand on his, and
whispered :

 
          
“Are
you sure—Don? Couldn’t we stop talking of my ranch, your ranch, and agree to
think of it as—ours?’

 
          
For
a moment he did not comprehend, and then his hand closed over hers, and before
the light in his eyes she hid her rosy face in his shoulder.

 
          
“Girl,’
he whispered huskily, “do yu mean it?’ Then, though he got no answer, his arms
stole round her, and he
muttered :
“This shore has got
me beat.’

 

       
The End

BOOK: Oliver Strange - Sudden Westerns 01 - The Range Robbers(1930)
10.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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