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The Boy Ranchers on Roaring River by Baker

Then when Delton comes we get him


"You'll get plenty of that," asserted Hawkins. "But let's not waste time talking. They'll be here in two minutes. Listen, you fellows, and listen good! Billee, you get the horses ready for a quick start. Nort, you and the Kid get around to the other side of the house, fast. Dick, Bud and I will stay here.

"Now here's what's going to happen--the car will pull up right here, and the Chinks will be unloaded. We take them--don't forget, we're Delton's men. As soon as they hand the Chinks over to us we cover the men in the car, and get them. Then when Delton comes we get him, too--if we can. He should be here now--must have been a slip-up in the time. All the better for us. Quick--do you understand?"

The roar of the approaching car could be heard plainly now. There was not much time left.

"You want Nort an' me to watch the road in the other direction?" asked the Kid.

"Yes--and we'll be here when they unload the Chinks. All right now?"

"All set! Let's go, Nort!"

Yellin' Kid and Nort ran swiftly to the other side of the ranch house, in which position they would be hidden from sight of the road until they chose to show themselves. Billee Dobb went around to the corral.

The oncoming car was plunging along the road, and would reach the Shooting Star ranch in another minute. It couldn't be seen, due to the blackness of the night--the clouds seemed to have thickened in the last few minutes--but the noise was sufficient indication of its approach. The six men awaited its arrival with breathless excitement. If the plan only worked! Delton would surely show up sooner or later, he couldn't risk too long a delay--and the capture would be complete. The boys felt their hearts beating fast as the moment approached. Guns were out now, and ready for action.

Suddenly another sound came to the ears of the waiting ones--the sound of rapid hoof-beats. Those on the farther side of the house from. where the car was coming peered down the road in the direction of town. They held their breaths.

"Hear it?" the Kid asked excitedly of Nort.

"Horses! and coming this way! It must be Delton--he timed it perfectly--he'll arrive just as the car does! Kid, we've got more than our hands full this time!"

"Shall we tell the others?"

"No time--we've got to try and head them off, until Hawkins stops the car, gets the Chinks and covers the smugglers! Come on, Kid!"

The two, with guns drawn, ran down the road in the direction of the approaching horsemen. It was a foolhardy thing to do, for they had no means of telling how many of Delton's gang were coming. Louder and louder sounded the gallop of the ponies, and nearer came the smugglers' car. The night was still pitch-black. The moon was as if it had never shone. In the distance thunder muttered, but the boys were too excited to notice it. Overhead the clouds were growing heavier.


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