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Rustlers of Pecos County
In the morning,
after breakfasting early, I took a turn up and
down the main street of Sanderson, made
observations and got information likely to serve
me at some future day, and then I returned to
the hotel ready for what might happen.
The stage-coach was there and already full of
passengers. This stage did not go to Linrock,
but I had found that another one left for that
point three days a week.
Several cowboy broncos stood hitched to a
railing and a little farther down were two
buckboards, with horses that took my eye. These
probably were the teams Colonel Sampson had
spoken of to George Wright.
As I strolled up, both men came out of the
hotel. Wright saw me, and making an almost
imperceptible sign to Sampson, he walked toward
"You're the cowboy Russ?" he asked.
I nodded and looked him over. By day he made as
striking a figure as I had noted by night, but
the light was not generous to his dark face.
"Here's your pay," he said, handing me some
bills. "Miss Sampson won't need you out at the
ranch any more."
"What do you mean? This is the first I've heard
"Sorry, kid. That's it," he said abruptly. "She
just gave me the money—told me to pay you off.
You needn't bother to speak with her about it"...
Desert of Wheat
Late in June the vast northwestern desert
of wheat began to take on a tinge of gold,
lending an austere beauty to that endless,
rolling, smooth world of treeless hills, where
miles of fallow ground and miles of waving grain
sloped up to the far-separated homes of the
heroic men who had conquered over sage and sand.
These simple homes of farmers seemed lost on an
immensity of soft gray and golden billows of
land, insignificant dots here and there on
distant hills, so far apart that nature only
seemed accountable for those broad squares of
alternate gold and brown, extending on and on to
the waving horizon-line. A lonely, hard, heroic
country, where flowers and fruit were not, nor
birds and brooks, nor green pastures. Whirling
strings of dust looped up over fallow ground,
the short, dry wheat lay back from the wind, the
haze in the distance was drab and smoky, heavy
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